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24 Hour News Networks

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The media has become a constant part of our lives. Every moment of everyday we are being bombarded with media from the television, radio, or Internet. This though is not necessarily a good thing, and actually it can be quite damaging.

Today, there are so many new sources that it is impossible to tell which are the most factual, and which are false. The main problem is that most people believe everything they hear. This becomes my problem with twenty-four hour news channels. No matter what political side you favor, it is hard to deny the extreme biases that exist from Fox News to MSNBC.

The problem with these biases is that people believe what they hear on opinion shows. It is okay to have an opinion, but when you claim it as fact it becomes a problem. Recently this problem has become more obvious with the issue of health care reform. Many people have no idea about what is actually happening because they believe the false information that is fed to them through twenty-four hour news channels’ opinion shows. From death panels, to socialism and fascism, the amount of false information is astounding. Most people would support the bill and realize that it is only for the good if they would look at the facts and not believe that it is a secret plot to kill senior citizens. Ironically, many senior citizens that are one of the main audiences of twenty-four hour news networks don’t realize that the Medicare they are most likely currently receiving is actually a form of socialized medicine.

As a fan of the Daily Show, a recent segment was devoted entirely to poking fun at this false information made by Glen Beck. He claims that he supports the constitution and freedom, but people believing false information as fact only hurts their ability to express their freedom of speech. There is not much point in making your voice heard if it is false information that you are speaking.

It may seem that I am only attacking Fox News, but the other side has the same problem. MSNBC is as much a propaganda machine as Fox News, but because it is does not have the same amount of viewers as Fox it’s easier to ignore. MSNBC is maybe not as bad as spreading information about healthcare, but it seems to them that their entire “news” day consists of convincing the American people that President Obama is actually a magician who has magical powers to fix the worlds problems all while riding on a pet dinosaur. Even as someone who is a supporter of the President, the amount they praise him is annoying he isn’t perfect and they shouldn’t claim he is. During the Bush administration, MSNBC was just as guilty as Fox is today of spreading false information about the administration.

My point is this; make sure your opinions are factual. It is okay to have an opinion on either side, but base it on real information, not simply reciting what you heard an anchor on a twenty-four hour news network say. Also, get your information from multiple sources. If you lean left, check out the Washington Times. If you lean right, give the New York Times a chance. If you give something a chance, such as healthcare reform, and find factual information about what is actually happening you may find that you have an informed and different opinion than you may have had from only listening to one source. No matter whether you are for something or against it, having an informed opinion that is factual is incredibly important. Freedoms of Speech is a powerful tool, but wield it carefully, false information helps nobody, but a well-informed opinion can be a tool for good.